Paulson Removes Himself as Thorns, Timbers CEO Amid NWSL Scandal

Merritt Paulson removed himself as CEO of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Thorns on Tuesday, following a bombshell investigation that revealed systemic emotional and sexual abuse in the NWSL.

The results of the independent investigation — commissioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation and led by former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and the law firm King & Spalding — said Paulson helped cover up allegations of sexual abuse and coercion. that were against former Thorns coach Paul Riley. during his time with the franchise in 2014 and ’15. The investigation began when former Thorns players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim came forward last September with accounts against Riley, who was fired by the North Carolina Courage after allegations of misconduct were made public. The Athlete.

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